Wealth & assets· Financial inclusion Financial inclusion and financial capability explained 1 August 2009 Helen Aynsley Financial services play a key role in most people’s lives. This makes the ability to make sound financial decisions an essential life skill, one that enables people to manage their day-to-day expenditure, cope with unforeseen emergencies and plan for their retirement. Such skills are becoming even more important as the financial services market becomes more complex. Yet many people lack both the access to basic financial products and services, and the essential skills to manage their finances. This is often at a great cost to their financial well-being and the wider financial health of the nation.